Posts Tagged ‘The Recieving End Of Sirens’
Super groups are hit and miss. For every The Sound Of Animals Fighting, there are a hundred misstepps like the 80’s Nuggent heavy juggernaut Damn Yankees. Isles and Glaciers, builds their sound around a three headed vocal attack headed up by ex-Chiodos and Cinematic Sunrise front man Craig Owens, ex-Dance Gavin Dance and current Emerosa singer Johnny Craig and Vic Fuentes from Pierce The Viel. The three singers voices, while swimming in a similar pool, all manage to standout and blend together at the same time, to create a unique sound that you aren’t going to find anywhere else.
Backed by guitarist/keyboardist Brian Southall from The Receiving End Of Sirens, drummer Mike Fuentes from Pierce The Veil, guitarist Nick Martin of Underminded and Cinematic Sunrise and Chiodos bassist Matt Goddard, Isles and Glaciers are consummate pros from tip to toe and it shines through on the discs seven tracks, two of which come in at under two minutes.
The albums cohesive feel is stunning considering that much of it was written individually and then pieced together digitally, only to be later recorded in a quick one week long session. A strong performance by Johnny Craig, shouldn’t surprise anyone who checked out his incredible 2009 solo disc A Dream is a Question You Don’t Know How to Answer, balances well with Fuentes and Owens sweeter sounds on tracks like Viola Lion, and contrasts greatly from the eclectic style he showed on the solo album.
The track Hills Like White Elephants delivers the power that you’d expect from this line up, as the triple vocal assault continues and the music keeps pace perfectly and drives the track forward. Despite the incredible musicianship, it’s hard to move past the performance on this track of the vocalists as Owens and Craig trade of vocals and Fuentes shines and some of the songs nicer moments.
The Hearts of Lonely People stands out in a scene that has been crying out for innovation. The only knock on this album is that it’s almost twenty-seven minute running time, is not enough to fully quench your thirst for solid post-hardcore of the super group variety. Let’s just hope the members of Isles and Glaciers can find time in their collective schedules to pen another disc of this calibre.
Following up their first two releases, 2006’s EP Act I: The Lake South, The River North and 2007’s full length, Act II: The Meaning Of And All Thing Regarding Ms.Leading, theatrical rockers, The Dear Hunter have returned with the third act in a planned six act story arc, Act III: Life And Death.
The Dear Hunter began as the side project for Casey Crescenzo while he was still a member of the now defunct post hardcore act The Receiving End of Sirens. While it’s true that TREOS did have their theatrical moments, see Planning a Prison Break off of their disc Between The Heart and the Synapse, nothing even hinted at what Crescenzo was capable off upon being kicked out of TREOS in 2006. Wanting to create music that didn’t feel smothered within its own genre Crescenzo set out to craft a theatrical brand of hard rock that borrowed elements from anywhere and everywhere. On their first two releases, there are songs that point towards jazz, big band, and opera, but all while maintaining a slightly post hardcore bent.
ACT III finds the band walking the same path, but with some less light hearted fair, resulting in a darker and more intense installment in the series. Like the albums before it, Life and Death, is a dramatized to the hilt version of Cresenzo’s own life with this more epic disc having a very war like feel to it.
Songs like the dense, multi-layered In Cauda Venenum, make use of Cresenzo’s thick vocals and team them, at times with backing vocals that feel like they belong on a broadway stage. Couple that with instrumentation too deep to fully dissect even on a fourth or fifth time through the song. You’ll notice that there are bongo’s or a trumpet where you hadn’t realized it before.
The Tank opens with strings, and brings in the big band feel and deep gang vocals backing Cresenzo’s staccato post hardcore voice, before it slows down and smooth, almost volta feeling vocals, leads us back into the deeper, darker, heavier style. The song recounts a man on the battle field charging forward despite the likely sense that he is not going to make it. The song wraps you in it’s story and style and carries you through the same battle.
Life and Death, is dense and epic and finds The Dear Hunter pushing their story forward with methodical steps that promise three more gems to finish out the story arc. The Dear Hunter is in a genre all it’s own now, one which can not be described so much as it needs to be experienced. The orchestration is beyond anything going on in any other genre, whether those genre’s consider themselves prog or otherwise. It’s hard to listen to this album, or any Dear Hunter album and not realize that you’re listening to something so incredibly original and deep that it almost pure gold.